Pirates’ starting rotation strong as any in the National League

2 of 5

Mar. 20, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner against the Cincinnati Reds during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants

Matt Cain

Madison Bumgarner

Tim Hudson

Jake Peavy

Tim Lincecum

Even with the trusty ‘eye test’ which is used way too often by Pittsburgh media members to predict performance, you can’t tell me this lineup is better than ours.  If you say it is, I’ll call you a liar.  Sure I’m sure you’d hear Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner is a heck of a 1-2 punch!  But if you dig deeper you’ll realize that Matt Cain is not even close to being a sure thing.

He pitched 90 innings last year and then had season-ending elbow surgery.  And even before he was shut down he had a 4.18 ERA.  His 2013 wasn’t much better.  He started 30 games but had another 4.00+ ERA season.  Those marks are a far cry from the lights-out certified number one that he was in years past.  Bottom line, he’s not the same pitcher – at least not until he proves otherwise.

Tim Hudson will be 40 this year and got progressively worse throughout the season until his implosion in the month of September.  He had an 8.72 ERA that month.  Jake Peavy had a 4.72 ERA before he got kicked out of Boston and to his credit he did experience quite the resurgence but his fastball average went from mid-90s to low 90s over the last two years and he’s had close to a 4.20 ERA or higher in three of the last five seasons.  Tim Lincecum is the five man in the rotation at this point.  Do I even need to elaborate there?

And this staff is better than the Pirates’ starting five?  Don’t make me laugh.